Labour opposes rushed Westminster primary schools merger
Labour Councillors have raised concerns over the closure of a Westminster Primary school. The proposal is to amalgamate St Vincent de Paul RC Primary School and Westminster RC Primary School, with the latter closing from 1 September 2022. The reasons given are a fall in pupil numbers across Westminster that has impacted future financial viability. However, Labour councillors have serious concerns over the merger and believe it should be halted until these are addressed.
Local residents – via the Council – will be left to pick up the bill for the larger £400,000 deficit of Westminster Cathedral School site when it closes. However, the Council has not undertaken a review of the facilities at both sites, or asked to see any similar assessment by the Roman Catholic diocese as to why one school site is preferable to the other. Indeed, Westminster has even undertaken to fund a programme of capital works to improve accessibility at St Vincent de Paul School.
Parents overwhelmingly rejected plans for the closure and merger during the informal consultation period. There are no guarantees of support for families needing to purchase new school uniforms. Assurances have also failed to be given that any overspill classes at the Westminster Cathedral site won’t cause siblings to be separated, or year groups be spread across both sites.
Residents need to make any comments on the proposal by 3 February by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Labour Education spokesperson Tim Roca said:
“Local families are clearly against this merger, and with no guarantees on class sizes, school uniform costs, or even about splitting siblings and year groups across sites, it’s easy to see why. What’s more worrying is that the Council seem to be cheerfully picking up a £400,000 bill without due diligence and exploring all the options. Another example of Westminster Conservatives’ cavalier attitude to spending the money of local residents.”